Film critics Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. bring you the truth about Hollywood’s current offerings every week. See thie reviews here and in the print edition of La Prensa San Antonio whenever you need to know more about the latest films. This week, the guest reviewer Adam Rocha, Director of SAFILM steps in for Covo on “Dark Knight . ” Also, Covo includes her exclusive interview with Mark Duplass and shares a review about his latest film, “Safety Not Guaranteed” (below) which also opens at the Santikos Bijou this weekend.
San Antonio.- Film critics Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. bring you the truth about Hollywood’s current offerings every week. See thie reviews here and in the print edition of La Prensa San Antonio whenever you need to know more about the latest films. This week, the guest reviewer Adam Rocha, Director of SAFILM steps in for Covo on “Dark Knight.” Also, Covo includes her exclusive interview with Mark Duplass and shares a review about his latest film, “Safety Not Guaranteed” (below) which also opens at the Santikos Bijou this weekend.
By Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. and GUEST REVIEWER: Adam Rocha, Director of SAFILM
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THE NEW COVO & AYOTTE GUIDE:
- INSTANT CLASSIC! FIVE STARS
- DON'T MISS! FOUR STARS
- DON'T WAIT! THREE STARS
- DON'T RUSH! TWO STARS
- DON'T BOTHER! ONE STAR
Ayotte’s take: “Dark Knight Rises” FOUR STARS
The entire Christian Bale era of “The Dark Knight” series has been great and there is no denying it. The latest installment lives up to all the hype turning out to be what one might expect from the winning franchise.
“The Dark Knight Rises” has it all—great cinematography, solid acting and the beautiful Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.
In this installment we see the jaded, broken-down Bruce Wayne who has been living in hiding for the past eight years affected by his deteriorating body. Being a superhero isn’t easy and watching Wayne hobble around with a cane is proof enough.
Not only is his body broken down but the “Batman’s” image is suffering after Gotham still thinks he was the one who killed Harvey Dent (Two-Face). But once a superhero, always a superhero as Wayne proves.
Bane played by the jacked Tom Hardy strolls into Gotham and assembles an underground army, literally underground as they prepare for Gotham’s takeover in the sewer system below the city. I’ve never read the comic books so I can’t attest to how closely this follows the original story but from whispers in the crowd it dead-on for the most part.
There is nothing super special about “The Dark Knight Rises” (except for maybe Anne Hathaway), but I think it has to do with how great the other movies were in the Dark Knight series. I call it the Yankees-effect, every year they always win so it’s expected of them to win no matter what. Same goes for this film, everyone expected great things and it delivered.
It’s the classic storyline. Batman has to save Gotham from some big bad villain but there is a twist or two you won’t see coming so be sure to pay close attention. In addition there are some clues that allude to there being another movie (and who the next Robin might be) in the series despite rumors that this is the last one.
You won’t be disappointed by “The Dark Knight Rises,” but I also can’t say you will leave the theater in awe. There are parts of the film that are simply amazing and add an element not seen in the earlier films. Christian Bale once again proves to be the best Batman of all the films ever made from the DC Comic book and we can only hope they will make another to please the fans.
Rocha’s take: “Dark Knight” THREE STARS
The new Batman movie is the third and supposedly the final installment directed by Christopher Nolan. There are several surprises, twists and turns and quite a few unanswered questions.
Anne Hathaway offers an outstanding performance as the Catwoman. She plays more than a sex symbol and possible love interest for Batman and represents the everyday person because she discusses a revolution to come. That revolution does happen in the film and later we discover that she is not happy with the revolution either. There are many layers to all films, but this in this movie they are all deeply intertwined. The filmmaker touches on several of today’s issues: corporate greed, terrorists, war and hope.
Director Christopher Nolan weaves in and out of different characters so many times that my head was spinning. There are also plenty of plot holes and a level of predictability making some answers too easy to arrive at. This film is also frustratingly enigmatic because before any particular scene ends we are thrown into the next one. I was lost at several points trying to percolate all the information between the great action sequences and trying to figure out what will happen next between the good guys and the bad guys.
The storyline is classic: good versus evil. The evil Bane (Batman’s enemy) is out to avenge the killing of his League of Shadows mentor - Ra's Al Ghul (Liam Neeson). Bane is a brutish but intelligent adversary who figures out Batman’s true identity is billionaire Bruce Wayne and does a great job at breaking Batman both mentally and physically.
Some downsides of the film is that we don’t see the softer side of Bruce Wayne like we have in past films because the screen is split up between six characters. An unreal scene which seems straight out of a comic book is when Bane is able to financially ruin Bruce Wayne via a daytime robbery of Wall Street.
Some upsides of the film include the young cop played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who ends up a strong central character as we discover at the end of the film. The numerous fight scenes between Batman and Bane are so well choreographed they will undoubtedly receive Hollywood’s top accolades. Batman gets his butt kicked when Bane cracks Batman’s mask with some punches and we feel helpless to learn our superhero is really human after all, like there is nobody out there that can save the world. Batman smartens up and gets his squad together and takes down Bane with teamwork.
This is a violent film and not for small children.
Although there are impressive scenes peppered throughout the three hour film, the big question is this – which is the best of all three of Nolen’s Batman series? Nobody can top Heath Ledger as the Joker in “The Dark Knight” so in my opinion this one ranks second best out of the three. Bringing back characters from past films and wrapping up the trilogy sort of redeems the film … but they definitely end up leaving the door open for another sequel.
The “Dark Knight Rises” is rated PG 13 and runs for 186 minutes (more than 3 hours).